The head of WHO in Europe said that the number of cases of monkeypox has tripled in the last two weeks, and he asked governments to do more to stop the disease from spreading. African health officials are calling the spread of monkeypox an emergency and asking wealthier countries to send vaccines so that there aren’t any problems with fairness like there were during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the UN didn’t declare a global health emergency last week, Dr. Hans Kluge, who is in charge of WHO in Europe, said that more work needs to be done.
Kluge said that the spread of the disease needs to be stopped quickly and in a coordinated way.
More than 5,000 cases of monkeypox have been found in 51 countries that don’t always report it. Kluge says that 31 countries in the European area of the WHO have found cases.
Kluge said that almost all of the incidents happened between guys, mostly between men who have sex with other men. He said that there were now a “modest number” of cases involving children and family ties. Rash, fever, tiredness, pain in the muscles, nausea, and chills were common symptoms.
Anyone who gets close to a person with monkeypox or touches their clothes or bedsheets is at risk of getting it. Children and women who are pregnant are more likely to get sick.
10 percent of patients were treated or put in isolation in a hospital, and one was sent to an ICU. There were no deaths.
Kluge said that in some countries, people may not get health care because they are afraid of being judged, and that the WHO is working with LGBT pride organisers to prevent this.
Officials say that gay, bisexual, and men-to-men sexual networks are spreading the disease in the UK, which has the biggest monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa. British health officials said there were no signs that the infection was spreading outside of those communities.
In May, a well-known WHO consultant said that the rise in infections in Europe was probably caused by men getting sexual at two raves in Spain and Belgium.
This weekend, the head of public health in London told people with monkeypox symptoms like swollen glands or blisters to stay home.
In Africa, WHO data from Ghana shows that the number of men and women who got monkeypox was almost the same, and there was no spread among men who had sex with other men.
Kluge, who is in charge of WHO in Europe, also said that getting vaccinated should be fair.
The main vaccine for monkeypox was first made for smallpox, and the EMA is deciding if it should be approved for monkeypox as well. The WHO says there are very few supplies of the vaccine, which is made by Bavarian Nordic.
The UK People who are likely to get monkeypox are being vaccinated in Germany and the UK. Recently, the immunisation programme was made bigger to include gay and bisexual men who have had more than one sexual partner.
Before May, monkeypox was only known to cause big outbreaks in parts of central and west Africa, where it has been a problem for decades, is common in many countries, and usually spreads to people from infected wild animals in small, localised areas.
Only 109 of the 1,800 possible cases of monkeypox in Africa have been confirmed by lab tests. Without lab tests and strong monitoring, many cases are never found.
Ahmed Ogwell, who is the acting head of the CDC in Africa, said that this outbreak is a crisis.
WHO: South Africa, Ghana, and Morocco now have monkeypox. Dr. Moeti Matshidiso, who is in charge of WHO in Africa, says that 90% of the continent’s cases are in Congo and Nigeria.
Monkeypox outbreaks in Africa have been stopped by tracking down people who were exposed to the disease and isolating them.
Like what happened with Covid-19 vaccines last year, countries that have monkeypox vaccines aren’t giving them to Africa.
The head of the WHO emergency response team in Africa, Fiona Braka, said that no country had been given money. Countries that have stocks set them aside for their own people.
Matshidiso said that the WHO is in talks with the countries that make them and have stockpiles about how to distribute them.
She said that we want the world to pay attention to monkeypox to help end the disease in Africa.